Thursday, 29 Oct 2020

Woman who ‘thought it was 1998’ assumed she’d been kidnapped after losing memory

A woman who collapsed after suffering a stroke in 2018 woke up two weeks later convinced that it was 1998 and believing that her family were strangers who had kidnapped her.

Stevie Carter was only in her mid-30s when a minor weakness in a blood-vessel in her brain caused her to suffer a severe bleed which put her into a coma for almost a fortnight.

On the evening of February 12, 2018, completely out of the blue, Stevie suddenly felt an intense stabbing pain in her head.

She explains: “I just started screaming because it was so painful and my then-partner didn’t understand what was going on.”

Stevie’s partner, from whom she has since separated, called an ambulance after she collapsed.

Stevie was rushed to a specialist neurology ward at Addenbrookes hospital, and was placed into an induced coma for almost two weeks.

When she regained consciousness, Stevie couldn’t understand what was happening to her: “I was a very difficult patient,” she told Metro. “I was given thickened liquids because I couldn’t swallow properly. I’d worked in a nursing home and had seen those being given to people with dementia so I would refuse them.”

Weeks went by, and slowly she began to piece together her memories of the previous 20 years, but there were some difficult moments: ‘I thought it was 1998, I had been kidnapped and I was being held hostage. I had no idea what was going on, which meant I wasn’t very cooperative,” she said.”

“I was hallucinating and was sure I was being experimented on.”

Stevie said that while she recognised her daughter, her sone seemed like a stranger and she kept telling him “You’re not my son, I don’t know you.”

Two years later, Stevie continues to struggle with her memory, alongside other symptoms such as ever fatigue and cognitive problems. But never the less Stevie has decided to use her time to help others, volunteering for the Stroke Association.

She says: “I will be working as a volunteer for the telephone counselling service and, before Covid, I was hoping to become a volunteer on the ward where I stayed, but that is obviously delayed at the minute.”

You can donate to Stevie’s JustGiving page here.

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